Hurricanes are one of the most damaging natural disasters in the United States. They have the capacity to sweep entire cities away with water. Is your home ready for hurricane season? With a little preparation, you can minimize the water damage and make it easier to pick up the pieces after a hurricane hits your region.
Water Damage Prevention
The first thing you want to do is make sure your home is in the best position to minimize water damage. If less water enters your home, you have less to remove. Start with your roof. Maintain your roof in good condition. Corrosion or deterioration of your roof, wind or hail damage or improper installation of vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, evaporative coolers or condensers can all result in roof leaks, seal the roof deck to stop leaking. Fix, patch, replace roofs as necessary.
Frequently inspect gutters and downspouts. Keep these clean, free from clutter and ensure good working condition.
Then, examine your vents. If they are old or in disrepair, replace them with new vents that block rain from passing through. Go through your home and seal all air gaps around windows and doors, pipes and electrical outlets. Walk around your property and check the grade.
If necessary, take a water flow test. If you’ve checked for signs of water damage, but still suspect you have a leak, take a water flow test. Shut off all sources of water to your house, inside and out, and locate your water meter. The red triangle or flow indicator at the top will tell you when water is passing through it. If the flow indicator or the sweep hand is moving, you may have a leak. Use the process of elimination to determine where the leak is coming from. Shut of one toilet, go to the meter and see if the red triangle is moving. If it stopped moving, that toilet is the culprit. If not, turn the toilet back on and shut off another. Continue in this manner checking all high risk water sources including toilets, sprinkler system water softener, air conditioner, ice machine, etc. If you shut off the main water valve to your home and the meter is still moving, the leak may be between the shutoff valve and the water meter.
See where water is most likely to pool. You may need to have a professional regrade your yard to ensure that rainwater and flooding flows away from your home, not toward it. And finally, consider installing a sump pump. A sump pump makes removing water from your home much easier.
Water Damage Repair
After a hurricane has damaged your home, you need to take quick action to minimize your home's damage. Keep the phone numbers of professional services on-hand, so you can call to request assistance as soon as possible. But during a local disaster, help may take some time to arrive. While you wait, take precious items and important documentation to higher ground. Unplug electronics and remove them from the location of the flooding. Turn off power at the circuit panel to avoid electric shock from waterlogged appliances. Ultimately, the longer parts of your home sit under water, the more damage you will face. Even if you do not have a submersible pump, remove the water from your home any way you can. Buckets, hoses and hard work can make your water damage repair needs smaller.
Hurricanes create billions of dollars in damage in the United States each year. Take the time now to prepare, so you can protect your home and family from hurricane water damage .